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Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Second Department
February 26, 2008, Decided
[**568] [*767] In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the defendant New York City Housing Authority appeals from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Battaglia, J.), [*768] dated April 4, 2007, as denied that branch of its motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's cause of action asserting a violation of Real Property Law § 231 (2) insofar as asserted against it.
Ordered that the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs.
The plaintiff was assaulted on premises owned and operated by the defendant New York City Housing Authority (hereinafter the defendant) by an assailant alleged to be a tenant at those premises. The assault followed a prior incident in which the plaintiff was punched and the window of the apartment where he was living with his mother was shattered, after he complained about the assailant's engagement in certain [***2] activities in the hallway of the building, allegedly involving illegal drugs. The plaintiff commenced this action to recover damages for personal injuries he sustained as a result of the assault. The Supreme Court, inter alia, denied the defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the cause of action asserting a violation of Real Property Law § 231 (2) insofar against it. We affirm.
[****2] ] Pursuant to Real Property Law § 231 (2), "[t]he owner of real property, knowingly leasing or giving possession of the same to be used or occupied, wholly or partly, for any unlawful trade, manufacture or business, or knowingly permitting the same to be so used, is liable severally, and also jointly with one or more of the tenants or occupants thereof, for any damage resulting from such unlawful use, occupancy, trade, manufacture or business" In order to establish a violation thereunder, the plaintiff must "show that the defendant was given notice of repeated criminal activity on the premises such that the risk of injury was likely [and] that a causal relationship existed between the complained of activities and plaintiff's injuries" (Maria S. v Willow Enters., 234 AD2d 177, 178-179, 651 NYS2d 486  [***3] [citation omitted]; see Alonso v Branchinelli, 277 AD2d 408, 409, 715 NYS2d 761 ).
The defendant failed to establish, as a matter of law, that it lacked notice of repeated criminal activity occurring on the premises (see Luisa R. v City of New York, 253 AD2d 196, 200, 686 NYS2d 49 ; Beatty v National Assn. for Advancement of Colored People, 194 AD2d 361, 362-363, 599 NYS2d 13 ). In support of its motion, the defendant submitted the deposition testimony of a housing assistant who asserted, inter alia, that he had received several prior complaints regarding drug activity in the building. The housing assistant's testimony was corroborated by the deposition testimony of the plaintiff and his mother who asserted, among other things, that they had seen individuals selling and using drugs in the hallway outside the mother's apartment. The [*769] mother also testified at her deposition that she made several oral complaints to the defendant regarding this drug activity and submitted documentary evidence of a written complaint she made to the defendant, which included a copy of a police report.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
48 A.D.3d 767 *; 853 N.Y.S.2d 567 **; 2008 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1702 ***; 2008 NY Slip Op 1724 ****
[****1] DEVON NEIL, Respondent, v NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY, Appellant, et al., Defendant. (Index No. 36847/04)
Prior History: Neil v. New York City Hous. Auth., 15 Misc. 3d 1115(A), 839 N.Y.S.2d 434, 2007 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1763 (Apr. 4, 2007)
assault, assailant, premises, criminal activity, drug activity, personal injury damages, deposition testimony, action to recover, summary judgment, cause of action, prior complaint, matter of law, inter alia, foreseeability, manufacture, apartment, asserting, knowingly, unrelated, injuries, repeated, hallway, housing, notice, tenant, drugs
Torts, General Premises Liability, Activities & Conditions, Criminal Activity